Episode 139: “Eight Miles High” by the Byrds

A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
Episode 139: "Eight Miles High" by the Byrds
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The Byrds in Hyde Park

Episode one hundred and thirty-nine of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Eight Miles High” by the Byrds, and the influence of jazz and Indian music on psychedelic rock. This is a long one… Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on “Winchester Cathedral” by the New Vaudeville Band.

Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/

Continue reading “Episode 139: “Eight Miles High” by the Byrds”

[Admin] An Explanation for Delays… And What I’m Going to Do About It

A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
[Admin] An Explanation for Delays... And What I'm Going to Do About It
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 Hi,

This is not a proper episode of the podcast. Rather, this is an explanation, at least in part, of why there have been fewer episodes than normal this year, and what I plan to do about that.

One of the things I promised myself when I started this podcast was that I would not do the thing that many podcasters do of waffling on for fifteen minutes at the beginning about their lives, in an attempt to build up a parasocial relationship with the listeners. I pride myself on the work I do, and part of that is making the podcast about the work, rather than about me. I do enjoy the friendships I have made through this podcast, but I don’t want the podcast to be about anything other than the history and the music.

But that does mean that you haven’t all had an explanation why, after two years of me getting the podcast out weekly on the dot, the podcast has averaged an episode every ten days or so this year, including some gaps of two weeks.

A small part of that is that the episodes have been getting longer. It takes more time to write, record, and edit a ninety-minute episode than a half-hour one, and while I keep promising I’ll try to get the episodes back to the shorter length I prefer, there’s just a lot of material to cover in some of these. 

But a much larger part is that this last year has been the worst year of my life, without exception. There have been a whole series of stressful events, most of which I’m not at liberty to talk about because they involve other people, but the year started with one of those awful life-changing events that only happen once or twice in your life, and astonishingly managed to throw a couple of other curveballs almost that bad.

And that’s on top of the stuff that everyone has been having to deal with, with the political situation in the world and with covid.

But there’s also my health, and I can talk about that because it only affects me. I have multiple chronic illnesses and disabilities, which among other things meant that I had to spend the first five months of this year totally isolated, not seeing another human being, until I could get fully vaccinated. And it turns out that being totally isolated from the world for months, while multiple catastrophes happen in your life and the lives of those around you, is not great for chronic illnesses.

I have had a number of flare-ups this year, and to give you some idea, yesterday my blood pressure read as 196/120.

Getting all five hundred episodes of this podcast done is my highest priority, but in order to do that I have to live to see episode five hundred. And sadly, making sure I live to see episode five hundred means not working on days when any kind of extra stress could give me a stroke. Which has been the case on several days this year.

I am working out some new things with my doctor, which I hope and believe will make my chronic illnesses more like they were in 2018 through 2020 — just annoyances rather than anything more worrying. I am fairly certain that 2022 will be much better.

So my plan is to get two more episodes out before Christmas — episodes on the Byrds and Frank Zappa, both of which are mostly written and should be able to get out in fairly short order. Those two are again going to be very long ones.

I’m then going to take a few days off between Christmas Eve and New Year, and not do any new work for that week. I’m going to try to relax, get used to my new medication regime, and get my blood pressure down to normal.

And then, all being well, we’ll start the new year as I mean to go on, with episodes coming out once a week on a regular schedule.

Thank you all for your patience and support during what has not been an easy year for anyone.

And I don’t want to leave this without a quick acknowledgement of the sad death yesterday of Michael Nesmith. He was one of my personal musical heroes, and you can be sure that when the podcast gets to the Monkees, they’ll be treated with the respect they deserve.

Second Book Announcement

A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
Second Book Announcement
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This is just to let everyone know that the second volume of the book based on the podcast should be available by the time you get this episode in your podcast app. It’s been a long, long, time coming, because the last year and a bit has been far more difficult, for far more reasons, than I can go into here, but the book is now done. It’s called “From the Million Dollar Quartet to the Fab Four”, and contains versions of the scripts for episodes fifty-one through one hundred, revised for the book format rather than audio, along with a rewritten version of the Patreon episode on the Big Bopper, an introduction summarising the first book, and a bibliography.

The ebook should be available from every major ebook store, though it might take time to filter through to all of them. I’ll be including a link in the blog post for this episode which, if you click it, will take you to your preferred ebook store if the book’s available there.

The paperback is currently only available from Amazon. It should eventually also be available from other retailers, as it will enter all the standard distribution catalogues, but it’s self-published through Amazon’s service, so those of you who boycott Amazon, completely understandably, might not want to buy that version. The ebook link will also take you to the Amazon page for the paperback.

The hardback is available from lulu.com. That too will eventually also be available from other online bookstores, but I make more money, and you get it quicker, if you buy it from Lulu rather than a third party. Again, I’ll link that in the notes here.

The physical books are relatively expensive — twenty-five dollars for the paperback, and fifty dollars for the hardback — but they’re *big* books — six hundred and fifty-three pages counting the indexes — and paper is expensive right now because of supply chain issues, so I hope you’ll consider them good value for money, as they’re literally priced as low as I can make them. If money’s tight, the ebook is only $5.

And speaking of good value for money, for one week only I’ve reduced the cost of the ebook of the first book to just one dollar. That’s a limited-time offer to promote the series, so if you’ve not got that and want it, now’s your chance.

Patreon backers at the five-dollar-a-month level and higher have already received copies of the ebook. Those at higher levels will be receiving their copies of the physical books shortly — they’ll be being sent out in waves over the next few weeks. It’s because of those backers that I am able to do this podcast at all, and I can’t thank them enough for their generosity.See you all in a couple of days, when we’ll be looking at the Byrds, and “Eight Miles High”.

 

Links to buy the book:

Ebooks (and paperback through Amazon)

Hardback

Link to buy the first book (only $1 in ebook this week)

The ebook for Patreon backers

Episode 138: “I Fought the Law” by the Bobby Fuller Four

A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
Episode 138: "I Fought the Law" by the Bobby Fuller Four







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The Bobby Fuller Four

Episode one hundred and thirty-eight of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “I Fought the Law”, and at the mysterious death of Bobby Fuller. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a fifteen-minute bonus episode available, on “Hanky Panky” by Tommy James and the Shondells.

Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com

Continue reading “Episode 138: “I Fought the Law” by the Bobby Fuller Four”

Episode 137: “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” by James Brown

A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
Episode 137: "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" by James Brown







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James Brown (r) dancing with Johnny Carson (l)

Episode one hundred and thirty-seven of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” by James Brown, and at how Brown went from a minor doo-wop artist to the pioneer of funk. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on “I’m a Fool” by Dino, Desi, and Billy.

Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/

Continue reading “Episode 137: “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” by James Brown”

Episode 136: “My Generation” by the Who

A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
Episode 136: "My Generation" by the Who







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The Who, in front of a Union flag, in 1965

Episode one hundred and thirty-six of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs is a special long episode, running almost ninety minutes, looking at “My Generation” by the Who. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a fifteen-minute bonus episode available, on “The Name Game” by Shirley Ellis.

Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/

Continue reading “Episode 136: “My Generation” by the Who”

Episode 135: “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel

A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
Episode 135: "The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel







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Paul Simon (in the foreground) and Art Garfunkel (in the background) in front of a wall covered in graffiti. Both men are wearing black sweaters. Simon is also wearing a shirt and tie. Garfunkel is holding a cigarette.

Episode one hundred and thirty-five of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel, and the many records they made, together and apart, before their success. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on “Blues Run the Game” by Jackson C. Frank.

Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/

Continue reading “Episode 135: “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel”

Episode 134: “In the Midnight Hour” by Wilson Pickett

A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
Episode 134: "In the Midnight Hour" by Wilson Pickett







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Wilson Pickett on stage in 1965 (with Jimi Hendrix on guitar)

Episode 134 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “In the Midnight Hour”, the links between Stax, Atlantic, and Detroit, and the career of Wilson Pickett. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a fifteen-minute bonus episode available, on “Mercy Mercy” by Don Covay.

Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/

Continue reading “Episode 134: “In the Midnight Hour” by Wilson Pickett”

Episode 133: “My Girl” by the Temptations

A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
Episode 133: "My Girl" by the Temptations







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The Temptations

Episode one hundred and thirty-three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “My Girl” by the Temptations, and is part three of a three-episode look at Motown in 1965. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on “Yeh Yeh” by Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames.

Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/

Continue reading “Episode 133: “My Girl” by the Temptations”

Episode 132: “I Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops

A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
Episode 132: "I Can't Help Myself" by the Four Tops







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The Four Tops

Episode one hundred and thirty-two of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “I Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops, and is part two of a three-episode look at Motown in 1965. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on “Colours” by Donovan.

Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/

Continue reading “Episode 132: “I Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops”